Feeding San Diego announces a 29% increase in meals served
Last updated 9/2/2021 at 1:25pm
SAN DIEGO – Feeding San Diego, the leading hunger-relief and food rescue organization in San Diego County, has released its 2021 fiscal year impact that reflects its continued pandemic response throughout San Diego County.
Between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, Feeding San Diego provided more than 40,373,990 million meals to people facing hunger in its service area through its decentralized food rescue and distribution network, despite continued challenges to the charitable food system. This number is up from 31,240,614 million the previous year.
Feeding San Diego continues to participate in a massive public/private partnership to meet a food crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is critical in mitigating a COVID-induced surge in food insecurity.
Staying true to its mission to provide nutritious meals by maximizing food rescue, 70% of the food distributed in FY21 was rescued from 400 food donors, including grocery stores, food distributors, and more from over 225 farms and packing sheds throughout California. By diverting more than 27,282,775 million pounds of high-quality food before it went to waste, Feeding San Diego averted 24,282 metric tons of CO2 equivalent from being emitted into the atmosphere.
Further, Feeding San Diego’s decentralized distribution model enables the organization to provide two meals for every dollar donated. The meals were distributed in partnership with 292 local charities, schools, faith communities, meal sites, and food pantries. This work was made possible by volunteers who collectively donated almost 15,000 hours of time, 21,720 financial donors, and more than 65 staff members made this work possible.
According to data from the San Diego Hunger Coalition from November 2020, over one million San Diegans are facing hunger, including over 284,000 children. As the pandemic continues to disrupt everyday life for San Diegans and with many still reeling from the economic fallout, food assistance remains a lifeline for many neighbors in need. Additionally, the recovery will be much slower for the most vulnerable populations who continue to experience disproportionate rates of food insecurity.
“2020 demonstrated to all of us that daily life can change in an instant and demand for food assistance will skyrocket in times of immense economic and public health upheaval,” said Dan Shea, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “Our mission is vital to the community at all times, but especially in times of crisis our services provide a critical lifeline to people facing hunger, especially those who may be facing it for the first time.”
While Feeding San Diego’s emergency response has transitioned into sustained support, the organization continues to serve an increased number of meals, operate drive-through food distributions throughout the county in hunger hot spots, expand partnerships as needed, and provide support and capacity building for its agency partners.
Submitted by Feeding San Diego.